Archives for August 2010

Crayola

We introduced you two to “Art” today. We got a box of large Crayola crayons, a bunch of scrap paper, and a very large piece of cardboard, then put you in the kitchen to explore. Anna, no surprise, you wanted to eat the paper, and especially the crayons. We had to watch you very carefully, but I’m still sure you ate the tips of at least the blue and purple, as evidenced by your teeth. Lucas, you did slightly better. At a minimum, you appeared to be the first to discover that you can actually leave a mark. However, you had no interest in drawing on the paper. Instead, you wanted to draw on the large cardboard that you were sitting on. And even then, by “draw,” we’re still talking more about bringing the crayon downward and leaving a mark by accident. It’s not clear yet that you have much connection between what you did, and the mark that was left behind.

After about 15 minutes of that, we were basically done, except that neither one of you wanted to give up the crayons. Anna, you in particular wanted to gather them all together and put them into a bucket. You are becoming such the little gatherer that it’s funny to watch. Often, you will be roaming around the living room, holding onto a bucket or basket of some kind, putting little things into it and walking around the room. Now if only there is some way that we can foster that desire as you get older and encourage you to clean your room, we’ll be all set for life.

Foreshadowing

Because it was still very hot, Mom took you both to a mall where it was cooler. There is a kids playground at one end of the mall, and you all hung out there. Lucas, you have a shirt that says “Future Man of Your Dreams,” and apparently some 2-year old girl took one look at you, and knew that it was true. While climbing around inside a tunnel, this girl came right up to you and gave you a kiss on the cheek. Mom says you were only mildly confused, then you both went about your way playing.
Anna, something similar happened to you when some older boy came up to you and gave you a big hug. Never mind that “older” means he was almost 2 years old. At this point, he was almost TWICE your age! And here’s where I start to notice some of my own gender stereotypes kicking in already. I hear about what happened with Lucas and I thought “Oh, how cute.” But when I heard about your experience, dear Anna, I immediately thought “Who was this boy? What do we know about him? Who are his parents?” All the education, maturity, and liberalism in the world just went completely out the window as I saw that I have different expectations for boys and girls, even at a very young age.

Are these expectations rational, reasonable, or even remotely relevant at this point? Probably not. But I still find myself thinking “Anna, my dear, be careful.” And “Lucas, you little rascal, you.”

Swimming

We took you both swimming for the first time today, as we had temperatures into the 90’s. We loaded you into the car with all the accoutrements that traveling with babies requires, then went down to Mathew’s beach on Lake Washington. You were fine when we brought you down to the water in our arms, but when we put your feet into the water, both of you recoiled. Anna, you in particular would lift your entire lower half straight up while I still held you by your armpits.
Eventually, I held you in my arms and I walked out into the water, just barely getting your feet wet. As soon as the water reached your feet, you instantly started climbing up my head for higher ground. I know you were scared, and at the same time that my heart went out to you, your scrambling up my head made me laugh. What finally worked was when I held you, and then I just bent my knees to dip your toes, then I stood right back up again, over and over. Each time, I could dip just a wee bit more, until I got your chest wet, then you started to complain again, so I took you back to shore.

Lucas, it was a similar thing with you, until we saw a duck in the water. One of your books is “Five Little Ducks,” which we have read so many times that I have it memorized, so I told you that story while pointing at the duck and you relaxed a bit. When I got you to splash your hands in the water, you got even more relaxed, and after that you were fine playing around, and I could hold you in my arms away from my chest and let you splash and kick.

When we brought you back to shore, we had a play-tent that we had planned for you to both take a nap in. Anna, you might have slept it, but Lucas thought it was a play-gym and kept rolling onto the walls. So we decided to load you and your accoutrements back into the car for your nap. Although we don’t have central AC, we do have a portable unit that we bought for your room just for the week or two of summer that we are having now.

Extended Reach

Recently, the two of you have taken to moving things around to stand on them and reach higher. Like the monkey who learns how to move a stool to reach the banana hanging from the ceiling, you have learned that by standing on things, you can reach up onto the counter-top, as well as higher up on the refrigerator where we have a near endless litany of cheap magnets holding all manner of useless papers just out of reach. Well, that is, formerly-out-of-reach, until you started standing on buckets.

We’ve also discovered a decent way to tire you out just before bed.  It seems that the two of you are not only capable of climbing stairs under supervision, but that you really enjoy it.  We can put you at the base of our two flights of stairs, and you will scamper your way all the way to the top step, at which point we pick you up, put you at the bottom, and you do it all over again.  After a round or two, you are both really winded, and quite ready for bed.